Qi GLOBAL's volunteer-led committee takes on Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta's challenge and presents business plans for a Timorese-owned, fair trade global coffee chain.
By AI LIN MAO
Timor-Leste has, since the 19th century, been a traditional coffee-growing region, and the commodity now counts for the majority of the nation's non-oil exports. As it stands, however, the current supply chain directs a disproportionate share of the industry's vast profits to actors other than the coffee farmers.
In his 2011 interview with Qi, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, former President of Timor-Leste, shared his vision of creating a Timorese coffee brand that would bring equitable returns to the young nation's coffee-growers. Inspired by his message, Qi recruited Singapore-based young professional from a variety of backgrounds to form the Café Timor-Leste committee, a volunteer-led initiative established to conceptualise a fair-trade business strategy that matches Dr. Ramos-Horta's plans.
From left to right: Allan Agustin, Marisse Reyes, Qi's CEO Mette Kristine Oustrup, Nils van Wassenhove, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, Christophe Delacroix, Henrik Meltesen, Heena Patel and Dr. Ramos-Horta's advisor, Hernani Coelho.
The team met with the Nobel laureate in February, and presented a project conceived to act as a community bridge between consumers and producers. Not only will fair trade principles be applied, but the boutique coffee chain also hosts innovative elements that bring Timor-Leste's culture and people to the forefront of each coffee-drinking experience.
About Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta
Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta is the former President of Timor-Leste, having served from 2007 to 2012. He is a 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, awarded for his contributions to the Timorese struggle for independence. Find out more at www.qi-global.com/jose-ramos-horta.
About Qi GLOBAL
Qi is a global network of innovators. We provide members a platform for cross-industry networking and collaboration. Innovation happens with the cross-pollination of knowledge from a range of industries. Based on this principle, Qi works to bring together corporate, community and creative sectors to generate new ideas for sustainable development in the following areas: Architecture & Urban Planning; Conservation & Wildlife; Energy & Technology; Fashion, Art & Design; Food, Health & Leisure; Leadership & Innovation; Impact Investment; Policy & Nation Development; Women’s Empowerment; and Youth Ambition & Education.
Qi not only connects with established innovators and change-makers, but also engineers opportunities for those outside the circle to devise, strategise and carry out their own projects to create human progress in harmony with nature. The Café Timor Leste Committee is part of a Qi effort to engage volunteers from diverse backgrounds to come together and be architects of a different future. To find out more, contact us at www.qi-global.com/contact.